Meet the Graduate Interns in Schools

Read about the experiences of those to have gone through the Graduate Interns programme:

Lauren Clarke completed a teaching Graduate Internship at Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich. She trained to teach with Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT and is now a class teacher at the Oaks Primary School, Ipswich.

Georgie Underwood completed her Graduate Internship with Year 6 pupils at Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich. She studied for her PGCE at UEA and is now teaching at Saxmundham Primary School.

Louise Anderson also completed her Graduate Internship at Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich. She now works in Speech & Language Therapy.

Lauren Clarke

What are the benefits of a Graduate Internship?

It prepares you for teacher training; I would have found it much harder if it wasn’t for my Graduate Internship. It also opens your eyes to what the professional job role entails. The flexibility of the role also enabled me to work with a variety of age ranges, which changed my perception of the job.

What have you decided to do after your Internship?

Originally, I had planned to direct my career towards early years. However, I am now undertaking teacher training through the Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training (SNITT), which includes a two-term placement within two of the county’s primary schools and working predominantly with pupils aged nine and ten.

Georgie Underwood

What inspired you to pursue a career in teaching?

From an early age I had always loved reading and learning. I was also encouraged by speaking with friends and family who are teachers. After completing my degree and a few school placements, I realised I loved working with children and wanted to give them the best opportunity and support.

What have you done that has really engaged your children?

After starting as a Graduate Intern, I set up a drama club for Year 6 pupils. In one of our sessions we used different pieces of music to reflect emotion. It was a really successful activity, as it made the children think about how they convey themselves and what effect music can have on a performance.

I also had the opportunity to provide extra support to children either on a one to one basis or in small groups. Getting to know them as individuals and using humour really seems to encourage the children to learn.

The pupils love the lessons that get away from the norm. One of the maths lessons I was a part of included challenges that were written on the tables in white board pen. The children were keen to figure out the problems because they got to write the answers on the tables, which they felt was rebellious!

What do you like most about teaching in Suffolk?

My family are close by; having been away it’s nice to be at home with relatives. I know that Suffolk is making changes to improve its educational attainment and I want to be part of that challenge.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to teach?

Go into the internship with an open mind but with an idea of an end goal. Be ready to be out of your comfort zone and receive the reward for doing so. Use the time to gain as much experience on offer. You will develop transferable skills even if teaching is not for you.

What are the benefits of a Graduate Internship?

You can get a real in-depth experience of working in a classroom before committing to a career in teaching. It also allows you to question what type of teacher you want to be, whilst gaining the knowledge of the requirements from each lesson.

Abi Fayers

Abi completed her Graduate Internship at Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich, and now works as an Inclusion Facilitator in the Educational Psychology team.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Educational Psychology?

I had gained previous experience working with children and young people who were struggling with learning and needed extra support in order to reach their full potential. From this, I decided I wanted to help those children who are left behind as a result of their additional social, emotional, learning and behavioural needs.

What have you done that has really supported your children?

Since starting my Graduate Internship, I have got to know the children as individuals and work with them on an individual basis. Working with them in this way has enabled me to put their needs first and try to understand their perspectives and emotions. This has allowed me to consider the best way to support each individual through the application of psychological theory and methods.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to go into Educational Psychology?

Try to gain as much experience as possible by working with children and young people who require additional support to meet their social, emotional, behavioural and learning needs. By applying psychological theory and research you will make a big step in helping them to reach their full potential. It is important to have an open mind as you will never be able to predict which children you will encounter or what sort of ideas you will use.

What are the benefits of a Graduate Internship?

For me, the Graduate Internship programme has increased my awareness of the type of career I wish to enter and has allowed me to gain the necessary experience needed to progress. Getting experience in a school is valuable and being able to support children and see their improvement is very rewarding. My internship at Sidegate has provided me with the opportunity to work in the area I am most interested in.

What have you decided to do after your Internship?

After my internship at Sidegate Primary, I will be continuing my development in Educational Psychology. I hope to build up my experience in this area by working with a range of children and young people experiencing a range of difficulties. I wish to complete the professional training required to be an Educational Psychologist in the near future.

Louise Anderson

What inspired you to pursue a career in Speech and Language Therapy?

My Granddad had a stroke and as part of his recovery, he had a speech and language therapist. I have also worked in a nursery with a child who had speech and language needs. These two experiences have made me want to become a speech and language therapist.

What have you done that has really supported your children?

I believe that giving children equal opportunities is extremely important. I’m also passionate about providing support to those children that fall behind and need that little extra boost. By working in this way, I feel that the support I’m providing is making a difference.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to be a Speech and Language Therapist?

Gain as much experience as you can, with both children and adults.

What are the benefits of a Graduate Internship?

By having an end goal in mind, this experience has provided me with the opportunity to gain significant experience and training to help me pursue my career.        

What have you decided to do after your Internship?

After my Internship, I will be undertaking an MSc Speech and Language Therapy degree.